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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 18 Dec 2004
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R80 G/S or GS ?

I've decided to buy a BMW to travel overland, two up. But I have this dilemma: G/S or GS? G/S is uglier but old, GS is younger but heavier. Sh1t. I've read all there is about them, but I can't decide... anybody with experience with both of them, two up and somewhere off-road on a half year trip?
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Old 18 Dec 2004
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I think it's a matter of comfort. The G/S is very durable, however it will be slower,louder and requires attention(maintenance). The GS is smoother, faster, and requires less attention.
They are both great bikes and will weigh the same fully loaded, but how much off road will you be doing two up? an RT will go almost the same places but with more comfort and carrying capacity, (cheaper to buy too...) oh, and don't dismiss any other good two up touring bikes, Honda's etc...good luck
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Old 9 Jan 2005
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I have owned one of each (had GS, now have G/S). They are both good bikes and very similar, which is the root of your indecision.

I was wooed by the G/S because it is ligher (not much really) simpler (mainly the monolever vs paralever), and I had heard that the 800 was a smoother engine. Since buying the G/S I upgraded the forks to GS spec, replaced the shock (which is an essential fix on both bikes), and upgraded the front brake, which is not very good on either.

If I were faced with buy at this point, I would look for a GS. There are more around, and they are closer to what I would want. The main problem with the GS is the paralever, which has a short life. However, this is at known problem, and replacing it prior to a long trip would reduce the likelyhood of failure to an acceptable level. On the G/S the front fork must be replaced, in my opionion. There are more GS's around, and upgrades are easier to come by. I think the PD is a good starting point for a RTW bike. However, I wouldn't turn down a good deal on a G/S, especially if it had some modifications and the large (PD) tank.
Honestly, either bike will be fine. I think an more difficult choice is between a GS / G/S and a newer F650 Dakar, which has similar power/ weight and is much more fuel efficient. Ah, choice...
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Old 7 Apr 2005
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I had an 83 G/S for tree years and did 250.000 km.As told before the engine is smoother and trouble free.Non problem with the Kardan(drive shaft)and all aftermarkets to make your "Bock" are still there on sell.I put an 43 liters tank from Acerbis,a white power shock and a good set of TKC 80.Tesch frame for boxes.Remember the 1000cc is much more thirsty for gas!
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Old 9 Apr 2005
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I know what your going through, i did the same and got a gs for a while, it ended up needing a lot of work so i reckon you can be burnt on either, there both old bikes.

i love em but their reliability compared with yam/honda is crap. i messed with a few different bikes including an an africa twin, and suzuki but again to big and heavy so went for a transalp. a few mods and there great for me it's the best, i'd sort the suspension and take off the fairing but i reckon you get a better bike than an f650 and cheaper bike + easier parts availability too. in my limited travels in africa and india they all ride small jap bikes and can get jap parts easily so i think the argument of parts in remote areas for bmw's is getting out of tune. this is just my choice and think bmw's are lovely but just too much hasstle and cost and the power is less than modern bikes and can become cumbersome. £2000 for a reasonably new honda will take you everywhere and if in trouble not too much to ditch as you haven't spent 1000's sorting it for the journey.
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Old 9 Apr 2005
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Martync is rigth.
I am currently driving a XR 650L with 40 liters tank(since 94).Cheaper,lighter and in a way manuvrable.I drive the bike alone.
The only thing that i missed is the "clean" drive shaft.
America is a nice continent,not a country.All people who lives in this continent are americans.Discover it in peace!
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Old 9 Apr 2005
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I would get a XTZ660 tenere! But then I have a G/S.


[This message has been edited by simmo (edited 09 April 2005).]
Close to Antarctica and a long way from reality
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Old 27 Jun 2005
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The 40mm Marzochi suspension with 220mm travel is probly the best BMW have ever fitted to any model up to now (HP2 will have USD marzochis with 270mm travel).
The large angle of the rear shock on the paralever swing-arm make this probably the worst suspention setup on any BMW so far.
So herin leis the big delema between the G/S and the GS.
You would almost want the marzochi front end with the simplisity of the monoswing-arm fited with a WP with reservior for offroad use.
To make the chioce simple I would say that your front wheel take a lot more abuse when hiting potholes and large stones than the rear. Rear suspention play a mutch bigger role in traction by keeping the rear on the road in hard riding as well as with cornering hard.
So if you want to chose between a good front or good rear, I would recomend the front hence the GS especialy if hard off-road riding is not your style but rather relaxed touring.
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